Monday, June 23, 2014

On The Bench - Oil Vignettes

Thought I'd give you a peek at some of the latest small oil paintings on my home studio work table.

When I have left over pieces of beautiful thick paper, I use painter's tape to mosaic them onto a portable drawing table background. These first get covered with a layer of clear or white gesso or acrylic paint, then I glue down map pieces with matte gel medium.

When the glue is dry, I draw over the surface with Caran d'Ache NeoColor II water soluble oil pastel crayons and use water to spread the color around to create an oil-friendly underpainting. After that dries, I paint on the surface with oil paints using several different shaped palette knives, keeping the paint strokes expressive and using the palette knife tip to scrape shapes into the painted surface. I make sure bits of the maps show through the background to add mystery to the finished paintings.

I'm in love with my collection of used domestic and international postage stamps; I select one, coat the back with Dorland's Cold Wax Medium and stick it to the oil-painted surface, pressing down with a palette knife. Finally, I use a small brush to add my signature to the paintings. (Note that sometimes it is best to let the paintings dry for a day or two before adding the signature.) The paintings get left to dry for 1-3 weeks, then the painter's tape is gently removed at an angle to the paper edge for an exciting reveal!

Saintly, 8in x 10in
Coronation, 9.5in x 11in
Passage, 5.5in x 7.5in
Peace Rising, 5.5in x 7.5in
Fierce, 5in x 9.5in

A great solvent-free way to clean the palette knives and small signature brush is to put a dab of linseed oil on a Viva paper towel or cotton cloth and simply wipe them off. (I learned this tip in Vicky Perry's Abstract Painting book) I hope you'll try this quick, fun way to create expressive mini works of art. Please share your results in the comments.

Happy Arting!  Tristina  :D

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